Thursday, 13 November 2014

What day is it?

One of the minor irritations of older age is the inability to remember simple items. We have a daily game of "hunt the glasses" or "hunt the wallet" for example.

The day of the week is a particular case in point. Dates? No chance - unless there is a special event which has been entered on the large print large calendar hanging in the kitchen. But days? - there ought to be a fighting chance to get this right (well 1 in 7 anyway).

This summer the July sheet was absolutely stuffed with events - some of which stretched over several days and involved an arrow to mark start and end. Our arrival at the first stop of our West Country holiday proved to be a day premature - much to the amusement of the holiday camp owners who, being at work, had no problem at all in knowing which day it was. They didn't seem convinced about my story concerning overlapping arrows on a busy calendar. Their turn will come, I just know it. Thankfully they extended the start of our stay at no great extra cost. And the owners of the second campsite, in Somerset, were very helpful by allowing us to arrive one day earlier at their site as a consequence.

Actually we are no strangers to the Somerset caravan site. They have become used to our curious ways. Spring visits see the ritual washing away of winter grime - an activity helped by having use of the campsite adjustable ladder. Officially they can't lend me the ladder for "health and safety" reasons. So I have to walk past the owner, carrying the ladder, waiting to be challenged about theft. It never happens. Other guests on the site appear to use the mobile caravan washing service, which I am sort of expected to use on account of my age. Where's the fun in that? And it costs..

Speaking of unwanted help, we were returning from a late season (cheap) holiday last week and  had reached the stage of boarding the train from the bus station link to the airport. This was after a kind lady from the station buffet had run after us with my wife's handbag. I narrowly missed the overhead luggage rack with my first attempt to swing up a heavy piece of hand-luggage . Almost immediately a "helpful" guy offered to lift the luggage for me with the comment "Not implying you are too old or anything." I hope my grumpy old man expression was sufficient reprimand for his cheek. 

So, after a relatively safe return home with limbs and luggage intact we decamped into the spare bedroom. I went to check the mansion and estate grounds whilst my wife got the plum job of sorting the clothing items for the washing machine. It didn't take her too long because, as usual, we only used about a quarter of what we had taken. I was delighted to find that even in early November I still had ripe tomatoes on the vine in the green house. Nothing had been blown over; the grass was not overlong and apart from leaf accumulations all seemed well.

Upstairs however I began to sense that all was not well. A damp patch could be seen on the wall adjoining the downstairs bedroom of the bungalow and the upstairs wall of the bathroom in the roof extension.

In the bathroom I discovered the joys of "capillary rise". That's the one that allows water to defy gravity. It seems that my wife's dislike of spiders had caused her to leave the plug in the bath.Now if you add a faintly dripping tap to a towel draped over the side of the bath I can tell you that water will be absorbed by the towel before it starts to spill through the overflow. Water will rise through the absorbent towel, creep over the side of the bath then migrate freely with all the enthusiasm of toddlers in a play barn, rushing around the bathroom floor looking for new places to saturate (so to speak).

We had just spent over three weeks with absolutely no need to acknowledge which day it was. Kindle reading; strolls on the beach; sunbathing (with a hat, and factor 95 sun tan lotion of course) and people watching make for a very relaxing time. The only mild stress came when we forgot to put our watches back an hour and we turned up early for lunch. 

Suddenly we were back and the name of the day mattered! A Sunday is not a good day for emergency call outs. Monday is a cold calling day when someone with an unusual way of speaking English wants to conduct a survey. Tuesday is catch-up on TV missed whilst on holiday day. Wednesday is a day to play bridge and sing. The week-end starts on Friday morning with a visit to see grandchildren. That only leaves Thursday to sort out the damp spots. 

Now if only I could remember where to find the hair drier...

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